How Microchipping Your Pets Can Save Their Lives

May is two months away and we'd like to thank our guest blogger, Charissa Struble forjumping the gun on this essential information and advice!

May is Chip Your Pet Month.  The annual initiative aims to reunite lost and stolen pets with their owners.  A microchipped pet stands a far greater chance of being found than a dog or cat that hasn’t had the tiny electronic device inserted between its shoulder blades.  Although a very effective way of identifying pets, the Humane Society of the United States notes that “In the event of accidental separation, identification tags are your pet's first ticket home. Microchips provide an extra level of protection in case your pet loses his collar and tags.”

What is a Microchip?

Microchips are tiny transponders approximately the size of a grain of rice.  They’re implanted under the skin between the shoulder blades of a dog or cat.  Microchips use radio frequency waves to transmit information about your pet.

Misconceptions about Microchipping

As with any other unfamiliar processes, there are some common misconceptions about microchipping.  For example, there is no surgery involved for a microchip implant.  No anesthesia is required.  Each microchip comes in its own sterile applicator and is inserted under the skin within seconds.

Some other myths that people buy into are:

  • Microchips are GPS devices.  They’re Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) implants.  They are designed to provide permanent identification for dogs and cats.
  • Microchips are expensive.  No, they’re not.  The average microchip costs $45 and includes enrollment in a pet recovery database.
  • Microchips are not necessary because a pet has tags.  One slip of a collar is all it takes for a dog or a cat to be lost forever.
  • Microchips contain a pet owner’s contact information.  A microchip has an identification number only.  It is matched to a database listing with a pet owner’s address and phone number.  Without the database membership, a microchip does very little good.

Whenever a pet is adopted from a shelter, it’s important to check to see if the implanted microchip is new or old.  If a pet was previously microchipped, the listing in a database could contain the previous owner’s contact information.  It’s very important to keep things up-to-date.  If a dog or cat is lost and then found, it will need to be reunited with its current owner.

The HomeAgain National Pet Recovery Database Aids Recovery Efforts

The HomeAgain National Pet Recovery Database plays an important role in reuniting lost pets with their owners.  Once a dog or cat has been chipped, the owner creates a permanent record containing important contact information online.  A personal listing in the lost pet database is then created. 

Anytime/anywhere pet recovery services then go into effect. A veterinarian or animal shelter worker can scan the microchip, search the database, and then contact the pet’s owner and make arrangements for the dog or cat to return to the home he or she belongs to.  It doesn’t matter if the pet travel three miles or three hundred miles on its journey, HomeAgain makes it possible for the animal to be recovered even while in another state.

In addition to registering microchips, HomeAgain also provides the following services with its paid membership:

  • 24/7 Guidance from Trained Professionals
  • Lost Pet Alerts Sent Out to the Pet Recovery Network
  • 24/7 Emergency Medical Hotline
  • Pet Travel Assistance

HomeAgain reunites over 10,000 lost pets with their owners each month.  A yearly membership to the service costs $17.99.  Interested parties can sign up for the service through the company’s website or by calling 1-888-HOMEAGAIN (1-888-466-3242).

A microchip can make all of the difference in a pet’s life.  Anyone who cares about the health and safety of their dogs and cats can benefit from the simple procedure.  More importantly, having access to a service like HomeAgain makes finding and retrieving a lost pet easier.

Charissa Struble is a social media consultant and blog writer for, check out her online store or follow her via twitter.